On ruining the life of a pre-teen...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My 12 year old son left at the crack of dawn yesterday for a field trip.  Let me re-phrase that...  my preteen son who never wants to throw anything away, move anything to dust, who saves the wrappers to old candy bars cause they look cool, and still has popsicle stick projects from 1st grade collecting dust in his room was going to be out of the house yesterday from sun-up to midnight. 

So what would any good parent do while their obsessive compulsive pre-teen with an extremely dusty dog-hair filled room do?  They would wait until their obsessive compulsive pre-teen son returned from the field trip to clean the room together and discuss what needs to be thrown away, kept, or put into a keepsake box and packed neatly away in the attic.

I'm not that parent. As he pulled out of the driveway, I waved good-bye with empty trash bag in hand.  literally.  Then I marched myself upstairs and began the purge.  and the sneezing.  This could have been an episode of Hoarding:  Buried Alive, pre-teen edition.  Many claritins later...  I emerged from the pre-teen cave intact.  I stripped the bed, I sorted clothes.  I removed candy wrappers, and soda cans, and organized play station games and rock collections.  I vacuumed, washed base boards and fan blades, and hung pictures and posters, and organized markers and folder and colors, and trophies, and ribbons.  I moved furniture and vacuumed again.  Finally I stepped back and looked around at the organized closet and shelves, proud of the progress I had made.  Clean at last, clean at last....  thank God almighty we're clean at last!

I went on to sleep, being past Cinderella's curfew and all, and was awakened around 1:45 in the morning with ".....MY LIFE IS RUINED!!!"  He was very upset that I had thrown away everything that was precious to him....  Things that were growing mold & collecting dust and causing unhealthyness in places that he could not see. "But I have nothing left!  She got rid of everything & I don't even know what to do!!"

So at 2:30 in the morning, we listened from bed as our son tried to find the things that I had thrown away.   Around 3:00, he collapsed with exhaustion into his (completely clean) bed.  Early this morning, I went up to inspect and was pretty impressed that it was relatively the same.  I stood in his doorway watching him sleep, sipping my coffee, and this verse came to mind...

 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:1-4).

I thought about the dusty moldy areas of my life where God has tried to prune.  Areas that are bearing no fruit that I am clinging to like an emotional pre-teen.  I spend my quiet time today trying to recognize the areas that ARE bearing fruit, and are also being pruned so that they will be EVEN MORE FRUITFUL.  And God whispers to me in the quiet to seek Him more so that I will learn to recognize the difference. 

As I thought about the spring cleaning that I had done in my son's room, I thought about how I also needed to let God do some spring cleaning of my soul.  In order to have a beautiful garden in my heart and mind, the weeds need to be pulled, the dust cleared away, and some things need to be rearranged, priorities shifted.

Therefore, putting away lying, "let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,"  for we are members of one another.  "Be angry, and do not sin":  do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.  Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamo, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.  (Ephesians 4: 25-32)
Here are some ways that I can do a little spring cleaning of my soul:
  1. Speak truth to my husband.  When he asks how I am feeling or if anything is wrong...  tell him the truth.
  2. Realize that it is ok to be angry.  But also realize that there is a difference between righteous anger and pouting when I don't get my way.  And if I don't get my way, let that anger go and don't go to bed angry at my husband or children (or whoever).
  3. Quit stealing.  Stealing the time and resources that God has given me, wasted away on things that are not important, focus more on things that are important to Him, using my resources wisely so that I can give to others in need.
  4. Let no corrupt words come out of my mouth...  which begins with what comes into my mind from TV, radio, etc.  Realize that my words are important and they make a diference. 
  5. Bury bitterness.  Bitterness and unforgiveness over life situations in which I had no control. 
Father God, I ask you to come into my life and prune.  Even though it may hurt.  Even though I may not understand why.  Even though I may throw a fit and try to reclaim the things that are dusty and moldy and causing me unseen harm.  Even though I may exclaim with my attitude that you are ruining my life...  Lord, I ask you to prune.  To snip away the bitterness, to chop away the unforgiveness.  To bring to mind the areas of my life that steal away precious time with my family and with you.  I pray that you reach into the depths of my soul and clean out the evil words and put in me a desire to keep clean the wellspring of life.  I thank you Father that you love me enough to prune away the dirty, the dust, the unhealthy, the unneeded and that you will not leave me alone and freshly exposed...  that you will guide me and lead me.  Lord accept the anxiety of my heart as a child afraid of the unknown and make known to me your presence so that the harvest of the fruit will be your glory.


Mellisa Rock said...

Lovely post. I love how you look at situations and really see true meaning behind little things. This has opened my eyes to some pruning that I need to do in my own life.

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